Fundy National Park is located near the town of Alma, New Brunswick, along the Bay of Fundy on the traditional territories of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Peskotomuhkati peoples. Park visitors can watch as the highest tides in the world rise up to 16m (52ft) at the head of the bay and explore the exposed ocean floor as the tides recede. Spend your days hiking along the fog-engulfed coastlines, deep into some of the last old-growth Acadian forests, and up into the Canadian highlands. There are more than twenty-five waterfalls in the park to discover, many of which are found along hiking trails that often reward visitors with swimming pools on a hot summer’s day. Fundy has been designated a Dark-Sky Preserve so get ready to enjoy stargazing beside your campfire on a clear summer night. RVing Fundy National Park is a great way to spend some quality time with family.
Best Time to Visit Fundy
Spring lasts from March through May. Temperatures stay cool throughout the spring. Park facilities begin to open again in mid-May.
The summer season lasts from June through August. The Bay of Fundy’s waters heat up and cool down at a slower rate than the air around them, having a moderating effect that results in cooler summer temperatures. An average summer day in the park interior is around 22°C (71.6°F), while it could be 6°C cooler on the coast along with a constant cooling breeze blowing off of the Bay.
Fall begins in September and lasts into November. September is the last month of the park’s peak tourism season and facilities begin to close for the winter in mid-October.
Winter in the park lasts from the end of November until the beginning of March. The Bay of Fundy has a moderating effect on the climate around the park, making winter temperatures around the Bay warmer in the winter than the inland temperatures. Even with the mild winters, Fundy still receives plenty of snow for winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Headquarters Visitor Centre and Campground remain open year-long.
Fundy National Park Visitor Centers
It’s always a good idea to start any National Parks trip with a stop at a visitor centre where you can speak to park rangers, purchase a daily or annual pass. Pick up gifts, maps, books, brochures, and backcountry permits, or view exhibits on the area’s natural and cultural history.
Headquarters Visitor Centre – (East Entrance) near the village of Alma. Open year-round.
Wolfe Lake Visitor Centre – (North Entrance) next to Wolfe Lake. Closed during the winter months.
Getting To / Around Fundy
From the Moncton International Airport (YQM) drive 90km (56mi) for 1 hour and 17 minutes via NB-114 S to arrive at the Headquarters Visitors Centre near the village of Alma.
From the Moncton International Airport (YQM) drive 97.5km (60.6mi) for 1 hour via Trans-Canada Hwy/NB-2 W and New Brunswick Route 1 W/NB-1 W to arrive at the Wolfe Lake Visitor Centre.
From the Fredericton International Airport (YFC) drive 145km (90mi) for 1 hour and 40 minutes via Trans-Canada Hwy/NB-2 E to arrive at the Wolfe Lake Visitor Centre.
There is no public transit to or within the park.
Things to Do and Main Attractions
The Fundy Coast Drive- drive 460 km (286 mi) along the southern coastline of NB from St. Stephen to Sackville. Wind past quaint fishing villages, the world-famous Hopewell Rocks, and the Bay of Fundy. Watch the world’s highest tides, spot breaching whales, and explore all of the lighthouses that can be found along the route.
Catch the High and Low Tides:
The Bay of Fundy has a vast intertidal zone created from the biggest tides in the world. Walk onto the floor of the Atlantic Ocean as the tides recede to explore the sea caves and mudflats full of critters waiting to be discovered. Join a beach walk led by a Park naturalist to learn more about the tidal ecosystem and the birds, crustaceans, and other creatures who live there.
Join a kayak tour from Alma or paddle independently. Enjoy the thrill as your kayak is lifted by the highest tides in the world and paddle along the cliffs at high tide. Alternatively, paddle around the Hopewell Rocks or the “flowerpots”, impressive red rock formations carved out over thousands of years of weathering.
Visitors can swim unsupervised at Bennett and Wolfe Lakes. A supervised saltwater swimming pool is located off of Point Wolfe Road and opens daily from late June to early September.
Bennett Lake and Wolfe Lake are the only waters open to fishing in the park. Other systems are closed to fishing in order to protect endangered and vulnerable species. Follow all park fishing regulations and restrictions.
Hiking in Fundy National Park:
Hiking is the best way to see all of the park’s remote waterfalls, beaches, forests, and rivers. There are trail options in the park for all ability levels.
For those travelling in a wheelchair or with strollers try the Caribou Plane Boardwalk and wind through the Fundy forest which is full of birds, flowers, and even a beaver dam. Alternatively, for wheelchair accessibility check out Alma Beach and MacLauren Pond. For an easy stroll, walk the Shiphaven Trail which has many boardwalks and stair sections through the coastal forest. Interpretive panels along the way shed light on the park’s cultural and natural history.
Dickson Falls is easily one of the most popular trails in the park and for good reason. The trail traverses a combination of stairs, boardwalks, gravel, and rocks as it ascends, concluding with a large waterfall where visitors can take a dip on a warm day. Matthew Head Trail begins by passing through open fields, follows an old wagon road to the remains of a 19th-century homestead, and opens up to a coastal view of the Bay. Complete this trail as a loop by following the Coastal Trail back.
The Moosehorn Trail is ideal for those who don’t mind a steep ascent. Hikers will be rewarded with thick forests and waterfalls along the way. Arrive at Moosehorn Falls at the perfect time for an afternoon swim and a picnic.
Overnighters – The Goose River Trail takes you 11.3km (7mi) each direction from the Point Wolfe parking lot, up through the highlands and some of the park’s oldest forests, and finally down to sea level at Goose River where hikers can enjoy their own private backcountry campground and beaches.
The Fundy Footpath is a challenging 41km (25.5mi) coastal wilderness trek that usually takes place over four to five days. Backpackers begin at the Fundy Trail Parkway in Big Salmon River and end at the edge of Fundy National Park. This rugged trail takes you through some of the last remaining old-growth forests, up through the Fundy highlands, and along misty coastlines on the longest undeveloped stretch of coast on the eastern seaboard.
For an added challenge on your adventures, try to find the Park’s Canada red chairs! The park has placed sets of red Muskoka chairs at various viewpoints throughout the park. Some will be easy to find and others will involve more of a challenge, but the scenic locations will be worth the effort!
Cycling in Fundy National Park:
All biking trails in the park are shared with hikers.
Spend an afternoon playing a game of 9-hole par 70 golf of the Fundy National Park Golf Course located in the Headquarters area.
The old covered bridges are a memory of days gone by. The roof and siding were built to shield the timber-truss bridges from harsh Canadian winters. There is one covered bridge located at Point Wolfe, in the southern region of the park.
There are a plethora of reasons to visit Fundy in the winter including activities such as winter camping, snowshoeing, skishoeing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, ice skating, and fatbiking.
Snowshoes are the perfect way to travel through fresh snowfalls when navigating off of groomed trails. Skishoes are the combination of a snowshoe and a ski for use on groomed trails but not in cross country ski tracks. Cross-country skiers can enjoy over 18km (11mi) of groomed trails in the Chignecto Recreation Area.
There is a popular tobogganing run at the park Headquarters that will keep kids entertained all day long. Ice skating on the park’s natural surfaces has been growing in popularity in recent years. Park’s Canada warns that if you choose to skate, you do so at your own risk and to familiarize yourself with safety information beforehand.
Fatbikes are designed with wide tires to be able to navigate the unstable terrain of packed snow or sand. Fatbikers are welcome on over 23km (14mi) of trails in the Chignecto Recreation Area. Snowshoes, skishoes, and fatbikes are available for rent at the Headquarters Visitor Centre.
Fundy National Park Festivals:
Sand Sculpture Competition – View this annual sand sculpture event that takes place in New River, NB in July.
Buskers on the Bay – Street performers from around the world such as escape artists, comedians, musicians, acrobatics, and sword swallowers attend this four-day festival in Saint John, NB. The festival is located on the Market Square Stage and takes place in July.
Many different species make Fundy National Park their home including black bears, beavers, coyotes, moose, and deer. Look to the skies to see bald eagles, ospreys, and peregrine falcons. Take a whale watching tour in the bay for the chance to spot the endangered North Atlantic right whale, finbacks, humpbacks, minkes, as well as porpoises, seals, and seabirds.
Where to Stay in Fundy National Park
Fundy has creative accommodation styles for those who want to stay in the wild with a little less hassle and a little more comfort including Yurts, Ôasis, oTENTik’s, and Rustic Cabins.
oTENTik’s – These cabin/tent hybrids are perfect for those who want the camping experience without giving up any comfort. All oTENTik’s have heating, beds, raised floors, and furniture for up to six people and are available by reservation at Headquarters, Point Wolfe, and Chignecto Campgrounds.
Yurt – Stay in a traditional portable dwelling of the nomadic herders from Central Asia. The Yurts made by Park Canada are a large circular dome (6m/20ft diameter) made of insulated walls with a propane stove. There are window, dome, and door openings for temperature regulation. Yurts are available by reservation at the Headquarters Campground.
Ôasis- Spend the night in a teardrop-shaped duplex, complete with a convertible bed that changes into a table for day use on the main level, and a ladder up to a suspended hammock loft above. The Ôasis is available by reservation at the Point Wolfe Campground.
Rustic Cabin – Three insulated wood cabins which all offer views of the Bay of Fundy, are a short walk from your car, and are surrounded by nothing but the peaceful sounds of nature. Cabins are available by reservation and are located along Hastings Road, Maple Grove Trail, and the Black Horse Trail.
Front Country Camping in Fundy National Park:
There are four front country camping options within the park: Headquarters, Cannontown, Point Wolfe, and Chignecto.
Headquarters Campground – A centrally located and lightly forested campground. Headquarters has shower and laundry facilities and is walking distance from the village of Alma. This is a great campground to take your RV rental to. Enjoy views of the Bay of Fundy, the outdoor theatre, and the natural playground. Located in the activity hub near the East Entrance of the park.
Cannontown Campground – This camper trailer-focused campground is set in a grassy woodland. Nearby there is a playground, golf course, saltwater pool, an outdoor theatre, and the village of Alma. Some sites have views of the Bay of Fundy. Located in the activity hub near the East Entrance of the park.
Point Wolfe Campground – A simple unserviced campground with open and forested sites. This is the most remote of the park’s front country campgrounds and requires visitors to cross the beautiful Point Wolfe covered bridge. From the campground, visitors can access many hiking trails that wind through the coastal wilderness and weather-beaten shorelines. Located near the southern edge of the park.
Chignecto Campground – Chignecto is the largest campground and is located in the highlands. Farther away from the coastline, there is less fog cover and a better view of the night sky. This forested campground is close to many hiking/biking trails and a playground. Located a short drive down NB-114 from the activity hub near the East Entrance of the park. At this campground, there are almost 200 serviced campsites for your RV rental.
Backpackers are lucky enough to see many beautiful and isolated parts of the park. The park has eight backcountry campsites at the following locations: Goose River, Marven Lake, Tracey Lake, and Chambers Lake. It is recommended to reserve sites before you arrive due to the limited number and remember that Park’s Canada requires all backcountry campers to register at the Visitor Reception Centre before beginning their hike.
Things to Remember While Visiting Fundy
- Follow “Leave No Trace” principles.
- Amenities including restaurants and groceries are available in Alma, at the park’s East Entrance.
- The Irving Gas Station next to the park entrance in Alma is the only gas station around.
- Cell phone coverage is unreliable in many areas of the park.
- Be prepared for a variety of weather conditions. Raingear and layered clothing are essential.
- Be aware of the high tides/carry tide charts
- Parks staff allow pets on some trails, and at picnic and camping areas in the park. Obey signage and keep them on a leash at all times for their safety and the safety of park wildlife.
- Respect wildlife from a distance: don’t feed or approach them or let them approach you.
- Human food has a serious impact on wildlife. Don’t feed wildlife, keep camps free of all traces of food, store food in an animal-proof food locker, and place all garbage in an animal-proof trash can.
Are you looking for more breathe taking places to travel to in Canada? Check these out.